|Excerpts from ‘AD LIB WITH THE LORD’|
|Mother M. Angelica
I stand before You, Lord God, a sinner. In all the realms of Your creation no—one is more undeserving of Your love than I. . . This is why I dare approach Your Presence . . . Your power is at its best in weakness. Your love is more gratuitous to the ungrateful and Your mercy more sublime to the undeserving.
My God, You are my anchor on a stormy sea, my serenity on a windy night, my hope when all else fails. Your Presence surrounds me like a protective shield and when the arrows of my selfishness pierce through, Your loving arms extend themselves to reach out and grasp my wandering soul.
It has taken me so long to surrender to Your Love and Providence. . . to release my tensions to Your serenity, my fears to Your omnipotence and my luke—warmness to Your love. I hold on to these weaknesses as though they were treasures. My soul cries out for freedom and the very Will that reaches for deliverance from tyranny keeps my soul a prisoner to myself.
I do not ask for the riches that perish or the fame that fades away like a morning mist. I only beg for the freedom of a child of God with one goal, one love, one desire—to please you. My heart longs for You, O God. My soul cries out to You. Living without You is like a desert devoid of life and beauty. Can it be that the dry sand and scorching heat sear my soul and cleanse it of all those frailties that make me so unlike You? Must I roam through life seeking and finding you only to lose You again?
Does the torture of losing You and the ecstasy of finding You shape and reshape my soul into Your image? Does the reaching out to touch Your Hand and the falling back by missing it exercise my Will? Do You hide when I almost catch a glimpse of You, so I will seek more ardently?
What secret must I find that will enable me to love You alone and above all things, to see You in my neighbor, in the sufferings of my life and in the joys that are sprinkled here and there to give me a peek into Heaven?
Jesus, though crowds surround me, my soul is alone and the silence frightens me. To hear noise outside and feel silence inside gives me the feeling of living in two worlds at the same time. One world clamors for my attention and another for my love. O God, I choose Your world—I choose to roam the limitless realms of Your love, always seeing new beauty, always hearing the music of Your merciful forgiveness.
My mind, O God, struggles with the mystery of Your Eternity and Trinity. It is so humiliating to reach a point which I cannot pass—a point where a created mind realizes its capacity is too small to encompass the Infinite. Then it is, O God, that my soul sees itself as it really is—created and limited. It becomes content to wait until Your Goodness deigns to raise it, through Faith, to the unreachable stars of mystery.
You never take your Eyes from me and yet my eyes wander through the world looking for a place to rest. Why can't I love You as You love me? Why do I seek what is finite when I can possess the Infinite? My fickleness must astound the Angels, who see how passing are the things I cling to.
O Spirit of the Lord, Faith propels my mind and soul to those realms of mystery unattainable by my own efforts. What impulse of Love made You raise my poor soul above itself? Is my weakness a challenge to Your Mercy as Lord of all? Did You as Trinity roam the earth looking for some weak creature upon whom You could bestow the treasure of treasures—Grace? Your compassionate Love, gracious Father, tugs at my selfishness to strip me of the rags I cling to, in order to clothe me in the beautiful garments of holiness.
Every day, my Jesus, I learn by some situation or experience of my great need for You. When I try to be patient on my own, my patience is forced and short-lived. It is obvious to everyone that I am desperately trying to be patient. When I raise my mind and heart to You, dear Jesus, and see You so serenely patient, my soul drinks in that spirit of patience like a cool breeze on a humid night. Your patience penetrates my being and only then am I truly patient. It takes so long to learn that I can bear fruit only in You.
How very much You love me! Love is proven by Sacrifice and You have proven Your love for me. This realization makes me feel small for I am forced to admit that my love for You is very little. I run from sacrifice and am afraid of pain. Death at times seems like a dark tunnel to be traveled and the future seems bleak. When I compare my attitude with Yours I realize that in myself I have nothing to offer You The only claim I have is Your Love for me. When I think of that Love, I feel a sudden surge of courage to face the future. Even death becomes merely the beautiful moment when the One who loves and the one who is loved, meet face to Face.
Lord Father, life is always easier when I keep close to You. Sometimes I wonder why it is so hard to keep my soul united to the ,only Source of happiness. It would seem that I should be drawn to You like a piece of iron to a magnet and yet my own Will and frailties form a barrier which keeps my soul separated from You. The very thing I want to be, I am not. I run away from the pruning I need in order to be like You. My life is such a contradiction. My soul yearns for holiness and then runs from the mortification necessary to attain it. I shall have to depend on You, dear Jesus, to lift my poor soul out of its weakness and clothe it with the courage and strength of Your Holy Spirit. Then You will bear fruit in me—fruit pleasing to the Father.
Master, no one really sees himself or his actions as others see them. Perhaps, looking into the motives that I attribute to others may give me a glimpse into my own soul. I will not like what I see there, but let Your Spirit make the picture really clear so with Your help I may change and begin to think and act like Jesus.
Presence Of God
Lord Trinity, I want to be more aware of Your Divine Presence in my soul. I know your life with me is often lonely. I flit from one unimportant thing to another and then when my heart becomes empty and lonely I seek You. Why do I run to You only after all else tails? You are the only Light that guides my path, the only Love that is faithful, the only Strength in time of weakness. Be patient with me, Lord, and grant that some day my mind will have no thought that is not pleasing to You and my heart possess no love stronger than its love
There are times, my Jesus, when I like to imagine Your Face and picture how You walked down dusty roads. I like to think You are standing beside me, watching all I do with great love and understanding. Then I realize that once more I have brought You down to my size, encompassed Your Beauty in the narrow realms of my imagery and constrained You in a tiny space beside me. My Lord, this is the only way my poor human nature can arrive at some concept of You. Grant, dear Jesus, that when my imagination pictures You, I never lose sight of the truth that Your real beauty is beyond my wildest dreams. Your Presence is much closer than at my side.
Lord Father, I enter into Your compassionate Spirit and try to drink deeply of Your Merciful Love. My memory smarts with the remembrance of past offenses and my soul is pained by the anger of yesterdays—days in the past that bring tears and sadness. Every time I think they are gone, they return with renewed vigor and I realize I have not grown in compassion and forgiveness. I put my memory into Your compassionate Mercy and I ask You to cover its wounds with the healing balm of Your Mercy. Let my soul sink deep into that fathomless ocean of Mercy and return to me renewed, healed and refreshed with love for everyone and malice towards none.
Lord Jesus, I feel angry today—angry at the world because it is greedy—angry at people because they are selfish—and angry at myself because I am not what I should be. Quiet my soul with Your gentleness and let that peaceful attitude permeate my soul with the compassionate understanding I need to be kind and objective.
Life is so short, my Lord. I look at all my yesterdays and they seem so hazy, while all my tomorrows are uncertain. The only time I really possess is this tiny moment and it passes so quickly. Why does time weigh so heavily in my life? It is a most precious gift from Your Hands and I should look at it as I would a treasure. It provides the opportunity for me to know You better and love You more, to become like Jesus and be filled with Your own Spirit, to increase in holiness and to make reparation for my sins. Thank You, my Lord, for time. Please grant me more time to love You and tell You how very sorry I am for ever having offended You.
I feel sick today, dear Jesus. My head throbs and my body is so weak it is an effort to even talk to You. I try to think of Your poor head when it was crowned with thorns and I marvel at Your fortitude. I think of how very weak You must have been when You took the Cross upon Your shoulders. I marvel at Your Love. Love was the driving power that made You strong when You were weak. If I could realize Your love was for me. Well then, I will do the same for You. It is strange, dear Jesus, that as soon as I think of Your pain, mine seems slight.
To You, dear Jesus, life was a mission and You were the Father's message to the world—You were to save it—You were to open the gates of Heaven to poor human beings. Did You ever get tired of Your mission, especially when so many did not listen? Were You ever sorry You came? I know these are silly questions. Your love was so burning that each moment, even the most painful, was sweet and light. Grant that I may love like You and never count the cost.
O God, I wish I could look upon the whole world from the viewpoint of Your eternity. How differently I would see everything. Things would look very small and people would live and die in such a short span of time. From that vantage point centuries would pass like a few days. The tallest mountain would be as a speck of dust and all the oceans as drops of water. I would see nations and kingdoms come and go. Many small people would start big wars and destroy other people, then like a puff of smoke, they would be gone and all their ambitions turned to nothing. Truly, looking down from such a height would change my goals and desires. Though I must live in a world which looks very big and feels very permanent, grant I may never love sight of the truth that in reality it is very small and very transitory. You alone are changeless and You alone are Great. You alone, Lord God, are worthy of Praise and Honor and Glory.
O God, my mind whirls around in contusion and my soul seems destitute of all consolation. It is as it all the world and all my life wore telescoped into one moment and I carry the burden of it all. I cannot see any future except tomorrow being another today. All my yesterdays crowd around me, some accusing and some regret filled. It is like a prison with a thousand voices shouting for attention. Divine Jailor, You have the key to release my soul from the prison of discouragement. Unlock the doors and let me roam freely into the regions of Your love. Deliver me from the tyranny of my own will. Surely You take no pleasure in my soul disquieted within me, for then I am wrapped in myself: Do I hear You whisper, "Unlock the door for the key is within. I wait ready to enter and comfort you."
Wonder And Awe
My Jesus, I praise Your Beauty! Everything You created bears the stamp of beauty and the marvel of it all is it's variety. What made You decide the color of a rose and the height of a mountain, the way a stream gently winds around a bend and then ends up in a roaring waterfall. When man first appeared on earth and said, ''I love You, God" did Your Heart thrill? And when he said, "I will not serve" did You cry? I know I shall have to wait until we meet for the answers to these mysteries, but it thrills my heart that a God so great can be asked such puzzling questions.
Healing Of Memory
Lord Father, heal my Memory. It is like a storehouse out of which come old things and new, good things and bad. It is strange but sometimes an event that happened years ago, suddenly looms up, the hurt returns and with it anger and resentment. Jesus told us to be as compassionate and merciful as You are. I find this very hard and yet, why should I? Have I not been the recipient of Your mercy and forgiveness? Is it not a greater thing for me to offend God than for a fellow creature to offend me? You forgive and forget so completely and so graciously. Let me bury all my unpleasant memories in Your ocean of Mercy and drown them forever in those peaceful waters. May the phantoms of yesterday never take up residence in today and destroy my tomorrow. Give me Hope, Lord Father, to trust in Your forgiveness and let me always give my neighbor the benefit of the doubt so I may forgive him from my heart. Let me never presume upon Your Mercy, but ever have confidence in Your compassionate Heart. Let Hope raise my memory above the mud within it and live in the clear water of Your Grace.
Search For God
Lord God, my soul reaches out to You in the midst of a void that nothing can fill. My soul, like a butterfly, flits from one thing to another seeking rest and finding none. It is only in You that my weary soul finds fulfillment. I go through life seeking You and when I think I have found You, the darkest night descends and You are gone. It is then, when the new dawn slowly breaks through, that I once more find You. As I go through the day seeking You, I find You in unexpected places. My life is truly a game of lost and found. Let my seeking be a love song from a soul bereft of the talent to tell You of its love. Let my fumbling ways be a poem of desire that tell You I love You. Let my weaknesses and failures be like the plaintive cry of a wounded bird that cannot fly to its nest alone. Let my nothingness be lost in Your Omnipotence so I may never be separated from You.
"You will weep no more. He will be gracious to you when He hears your cry; when He hears He will answer." (Isaiah 30:19)
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